There's Luck For You! (Paul Schmitt sequel 1)

by Michel BESSY
(portes les valence FRANCE)

Some people are dogged by misfortune. The Rome caper had been a disaster. How could he have guessed that this midget answering to the prestigious name of Paul Sshmitt wasn't kidding, and how on earth could this half pint be intimate with David Cameron and Vladimir Poutine!

JONES was completely in the dark and his mind was like a roller coaster with the same thoughts churning ceaselessly. How could an unobtrusive warehouse man with an eleven plus under his belt be up there with the pope and whispering in his ear to boot? .....

At least every cloud had a silver lining and his two weeks recovery in this Rome hospital had sounded an alarm and made him aware he wasn't in the pink of health. That was an understatement. The doctor who had examined him had called a spade a spade!

He was overweight and had to lose at least thirty pounds...his blood pressure was way too high....he was stressed and strained by his high clearance job in that top secret factory which aroused the curiosity of many countries. It was far from being a cushy job.

The doctor had been straightforward....HE needed a break and had to unwind....Why not take out a subscription at the local gym. A good friend of mine practices 4 times a week and is slowly reaping the fruits of his exertions....Soyars the name...must have lost one pound in a month! But never mind the achievements of the other customers, you really got to take it up or and mark my words,if you don't ,you'll soon feel the fetid breath of the grim reaper closing in on you.

At least, there were some glad tidings. He had recently been notified that his wife had given birth to a baby boy in a Lo do maternity ward. He was now sitting in the saloon of the ROARING DONKEY, about 20 miles from Dover Station which was a bit disturbing as he would have to walk.

Moreover,he just had enough money to buy a single ticket to Waterloo! So, he couldn't possibly take a bus and would have to foot it. He was about to go to the counter for a refill when the booming voice of the publican said "CLOSING TIME" in no uncertain terms.

JONES got up, put on his overcoat and made for the exit. The moment he opened the door, a formidable thunder clap seemed to rip the joint asunder with a metallic crack.....JONES, hastily retreated inside.....It was an appetizer of what was in store for him.

He turned up the collar of his overcoat and made a second attempt to sally forth into the rain that was now falling with a vengeance! He mustered his courage and proceeded to plod carefully along the roadside. His loafers sank deep into the soggy mud and he floundered on after a fashion.

Suddenly he heard a car approaching and mechanically raised his thumb high above his head but by the roar of the engine JONES surmised that the guy was speeding and, indeed, flashed past without so much as a glance at him!

The rain was coming down worse than ever and JONES was buffeted by wet gusts of wind. He bent forward to reduce the impact of the slanting rain lashing out at him. Two headlights pierced the curtain of rain but the guy at the wheel,swerved to the roadside and splashed him intentionally.

Rivulets of water streamed down his head,into his eyes, seeping through his overcoat offering only token protection from the battering rain. He heard another car approaching. Yes,the driver was slackening speed. That was the end of his nightmare.......

JONES gasped: A brand new JAGUAR!....the man stopped by his side "where shall I drop you?" "I'm going to the station," I replied hopefully. "I'm going to the golf course...I can drop you there, it's only 4 miles from the railway station. Hop in."

Before he had time to strap in,the driver pressed the accelerator pedal and JONES was flung back against his seat. The SHUMARER wannabe went through the gears in no time and they were soon scorching along the highway at a daredevil speed!...On this slippery road with poor visibility, it was pure folly.......In a bend,he nearly lost control of his car and smashed into an oncoming motorcycle...

JONES heart was beating wildly and no words could pass his lips. When they reached the golf course, he could hardly stand upright and he felt nauseous....better walk in a storm than dice with death in a sports car driven by a madman.

JONES was still ruminating over the JAGUAR driver when he heard a big truck approaching. The engine was turning over smoothly and the driver stopped by his side. "Where are you going?" he asked. "The railway station," answered JONES with apprehension.

All went well,this time.They had made conversation and the station was soon in sight. The truck driver shook his hand and wished him good luck. JONES, relieved, strode to the booking office while humming one of his favourite melodies. "A Single to WATERLOO," he said to the clerk.

"6 pounds 50," he replied. His hand fumbled in his inside pocket for his wallet. His blood froze in his veins...The pocket was empty.....The truck driver had stolen his wallet !

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